Managing your repayments

Keeping up with your repayments is more important than you may realise. Falling behind on your repayments could give you a bad credit report and reduce your chances of getting credit in the future.

Making credit card repayments

If you only repay the minimum amount off your credit card each month it might take months or even years to repay what you owe. The smart approach is to repay the balance in full on the date due.

If you can't do that, pay off as much as you can above the minimum. If you have some spare cash in your savings account or get a tax refund, use the money to reduce your credit card debts. The more you pay off your credit card, the less interest you'll pay.

Here are some ways to manage your repayments and avoid getting into further debt.

Find out how much you'll save by paying more.

Credit card calculator

Case study: Jack does his sums

Jack thought it was okay to pay the minimum amount every month on his credit card, but every time he got a statement, the balance never seemed to get much smaller.

He spoke to a friend who explained how the credit card statement showed how much he was really repaying. With a credit card debt of $1,000 at an annual interest rate of 18%, it would take him almost 9 years to pay it off, at a total cost of around $860 in interest. And that's only if he didn't make any new purchases or get any cash advances on the card. It didn't include the annual fee, either.

So Jack decided to pay an extra $100 on his card each month. He calculated it would save him 8 years' worth of interest and take him only 11 months to repay the entire amount.

Manage your debts

If you have problems managing all your repayments on credit cards and other loans, think about getting some help to reorganise a number of debts into just one loan. This is called consolidating or refinancing debts.

Find out more about what to look out for before you consolidate and refinance your debts.

Related links

Last updated: 10 Mar 2017